US intel continues to accuse Gaza fighters over hospital bombing despite visuals showing otherwise

19 Oct 2023 11:52am
The scene at Al Ahli hospital in Gaza Oct 18 following Tuesday's blast after the building was hit by an air strike. - Photo by EPA
The scene at Al Ahli hospital in Gaza Oct 18 following Tuesday's blast after the building was hit by an air strike. - Photo by EPA

SHAH ALAM - Despite emerging visual evidence suggesting otherwise, US officials maintain their stance based on "high confidence" signals intelligence that the Palestinian fighters were behind the recent explosion at a Gaza hospital facility.

These claims seem to bolster Israel's assertion of its non-involvement in the incident.

The Wall Street Journal cited defence sources saying the US assessment leaned on intercepted communications and other gathered intelligence.

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson, noted, "Our current evaluation, using overhead imagery, intercepts, and open-source data, concludes that Israel did not play a role in the Gaza hospital explosion."

She stressed, however, that the US is still compiling information on the matter.

Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Joe Biden conveyed his distress over the event.

"The hospital explosion in Gaza deeply affected me, and based on the information at hand, it appears that forces other than Israel were behind it," he said.

Prior to Biden's trip to Israel, US sources indicated that Israel had presented its own intelligence findings to the US, presumably to vindicate itself.

Biden later credited "the information from my defence department" for shaping his comments.

For additional inquiries, the Pentagon redirected to the White House.

Nonetheless, Arab leaders continue to assert Israel's culpability for the explosion at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital.

The Gaza Health Ministry, overseen by Hamas, has reported a tragic loss of around 471 lives.

Independent verification of the incident's specifics and the casualty count remains elusive.

If these figures are accurate, this event stands as the most catastrophic in Gaza since the conflict began, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Independent journalist and filmmaker Abby Martin took to Twitter to voice her skepticism.

She said it is a disservice when media outlets parrot Israel's narrative, potentially overlooking the real culprits behind this grave act.

“No Palestinian rocket can cause the carnage and mass death we saw in that hospital. Israel warned evacuation before bombing it.

"Officials gloated about it before denying.

"Shame on all media stenographers repeating Israel’s lies to deflect the perpetrator of this egregious war crime," she said.